A Brief Supplemental History

With an extensive line of AIM products that boost nutritional intake, it is interesting to take a look back at how and when dietary supplements first arrived on the scene. It is a relatively recent history, including the inception of The AIM Companies back in April of 1982.

Vitamin Time

It wasn’t until the 1920s that the first vitamin to be isolated and chemically defined was thiamine and eventually named vitamin B1. Vitamin C followed in 1932. By the 1950s, the major vitamins had all been isolated and synthesized, which would launch the industry of vitamin supplements.

One of the many interesting facts about this subject involves a biochemist by the name of Casimir Funk. In 1913, Funk noted that when chickens consumed unprocessed rice, they were protected from beriberi, which is caused by a vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiency.

Of course, Funk  wasn’t aware of the specifics of this deficiency, but that didn’t stop him from creating unique supplemental terminology at that time. Funk’s original name for the mystery compound in rice was vital amine, which would later contribute to the naming of thiamine (vitamin B1). However, thiamine turned out to be the only antiberiberi amine, so vital amine became vitamin.

Even though it was over 100 years ago, Casimir was fashionably funky to come up with the existence of organic substances that are essential for our health. You might say that he was one of the first to search and define vital nutrients that would also lead to the identification of beneficial phytonutrients.

Nutritional Deficiencies

The determination that a lack of single nutrients was associated with specific diseases (vitamin B1 and beriberi, vitamin C and scurvy, vitamin D and rickets, etc.) would eventually  lead to FFs: fortified foods.

We still see this today in staple foods such as breakfast cereals, bread and milk. Most importantly, this focus on nutrition would eventually hone in on the importance of what we eat for good health, especially a whole-food, plant-based diet.

Along the way to this present point in time, a lot of mistakes have been made, including the widespread marketing and acceptance of nutrient-deficient fast foods and processed foods that contain added sugar and excess bad fats.

Unwholesome nutrition is associated with the onset of a variety of modern diseases. This led to “industrially crafted food products low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol . . .”  “Food” history is still being written, but that’s another story.

Choosing Supplements

In 1994, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act was introduced and passed into law, defining products containing one or more ingredients, including vitamins, minerals and herbs, that supplement dietary intake.

Today, the supplement industry is monetarily monumental. By 2027, the global market for dietary supplements is projected to be 230.73 billion U.S. dollars.

As for the resulting glut of products in the marketplace, choosing supplements isn’t always easy in terms of quality, safety and efficacy.

The AIM Assurance

AIM Members have been choosing nutrition that works for nearly four decades, and when new Members come on board, they can trust in the quality, safety and efficacy of AIM products.

As an example, let’s return to the subject of vitamins. Whole-food powders such as AIM BarleyLife deliver a natural source of vitamins extracted from the earth by young barley plants. These vitamins should not be compared to something that has been created in a laboratory.

Even so, many studies that pooh-pooh the idea of taking supplements use synthesized vitamins to make their negative points. But it doesn’t take a genius to know that vitamins ingested from BarleyLife’s plant-based food source can be used safely and effectively by our bodies.

The history of the supplement industry continues to be written, and it is safe to say that AIM Members have chosen to be on the right side of that history.

Published by The AIM Companies

The AIM Companies pioneered the use of plants—barley, carrots, and beets—as vehicles to deliver the body concentrated nutrition conveniently. Founded in 1982 in Nampa, Idaho, The AIM Companies has operations in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, providing AIM products to more than 30 countries around the world.

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